New Delhi [India], August 28 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached 45 immovable properties worth Rs 363.51 crore of Hyderabad-based MBS group and its promotors in its ongoing money laundering probe in a case for allegedly defrauding a public sector enterprise in the purchase of gold bullion under Buyer's Credit Scheme.
The agency attached the assets of MBS Jewellers Private Limited, MBS Impex Private Limited and its promoter and directors Sukesh Gupta, Anurag Gupta, Neetu Gupta, Vandana Gupta and their other group entities on August 26 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
ED initiated money-laundering investigation on the basis of FIR registered by the Anti Corruption Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Hyderabad against Sukesh Gupta and his companies for defrauding MMTC Limited (a public sector enterprise) in the purchase of gold bullion under Buyer's Credit Scheme.
Sukesh Gupta in active connivance with few officials of MMTC Hyderabad, had continuously lifted gold without forex cover and without adequate security deposits, said the ED in a statement.
"The dues of the businessman were consistently mis-reported to the MMTC Head Office and without squaring off the existing losses, his firms continued lifting gold from MMTC for their personal gain and thereby caused a loss of public money to the tune of Rs 504.34 crore, including interest up to May 31 this year of Rs 277.52 crore, to MMTC," it said.
The CBI has filed a charge sheet against Sukesh Gupta and others in 2014.
During ED investigation, it is found that Sukesh Gupta colluded with the various officers of MMTC Hyderabad and painted a wrong picture of his accounts and kept on lifting Gold to carry on its business as usual.
"Where MMTC ultimately suffered a massive loss, the business of Sukesh Gupta flourished and ran with huge profit," the official notification informed.
On the basis of his business profile, the ED said, Sukesh Gupta took loans and struck real estate deals and grew his business in the name of various related companies.
"All through the investigation, the conduct of Sukesh Gupta has been evasive and non-cooperative and he has failed to discharge the burden of proof imposed on him under the PMLA, 2002."
In another case under FEMA, 1999, ED said, it has adjudicated and levied a penalty of around Rs 222 crore on the MBS Group.
Sukesh Gupta also entered into an OTS (One time settlement) with MMTC in 2019. But as per the latest reports from MMTC, Sukesh Gupta did not deposit any funds and the OTS has failed.
The ED has now identified 45 immovable properties belonging to him and his related entities and their directors and has provisionally attached these properties under PMLA, 2002 to safeguard the proceeds of crime, added the agency. (ANI)